In today’s OF Gospel, the disciples are threatened by a storm. Jesus rebukes the wind and the sea and calms the storm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?Do you not yet have faith?”They were filled with great awe and said to one another,“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
What is this “faith” that Jesus speaks about? It is easy to suppose that what Jesus means by “faith” is the same as “trust.” But it seems to me that trust comes rather under the virtue of hope than of faith. Hope clings to God, leans on God, trusts God to bring a happy outcome at the end of all of life’s winds of change.
If that is hope, then what is faith?
The disciples respond to Jesus’ rebuke of the wind and the sea–and of them–with a question. Who is this? That question is the beginning of faith, properly so called. It is easy to say to anyone at all, “I trust you to lead me through all the storms of life, and even through death, to a happy ending.” But, to say this to anyone but God would be foolish.
Who is he? He is God. Faith keeps us from terror, not because it is hopeful, and certainly not because it is soothing, but because Jesus is God.